Pay Per Click

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is the industry name for the ads you see on Google and also the ads you see on websites and social media. It’s the name for ads on the internet because you as an advertiser pay for the ads when users click on them (never when they do not).

Here are the main types of PPC ads:

  • Ads on search engines like Google and Bing
  • Ads on websites
  • Ads on social media.

As such, pay-per click ads are both a guaranteed way to get traffic and a more efficient way to get traffic than ads in the real world. Why?


Virtually Guaranteed Traffic

If you are not getting (enough) traffic, you can pay for it. Because the internet is gigantic, and is used by billions, it’s pretty unlikely that you will set up an ad campaign, no matter how niche, and get zero clicks. Whether your advertise on search engines, on websites or on social media, you will probably get some traffic. (Search engines being the best option.) Whether or not that traffic converts is another story.


More Efficient Than Real World Ads

Provided you are set up to convert the traffic, PPC ads are more efficient than ads in the real world. Why is that?

Say you have a billboard in the real world; you pay for the billboard. With PPC ads, you only pay when someone not only looks at your internet billboard, you pay only when they actually follow that billboard to your virtual storefront. That is a much more specific group of people, as you are only paying for the people who “travel” to your store, not the people who just look at your billboard, nor the people who drive by it and don’t even notice it. So you’re spending money only when people decide to visit your virtual store. That’s much better.


What Could Go Wrong?

Well, as anyone who has ever set up a Google AdWords account can tell you, PPC is expensive. Very, very expensive. Inefficient or poorly designed AdWords campaigns can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month, and even efficient Adwords campaigns can cost this much, depending on your settings.  Google will just charge you even if your ads are up without you realizing you published them. The same is true for Bing Ads and the social media ads – you must be ready to go “live” with your ads when you set up the campaign, otherwise you are literally throwing money away.


Prepare Before You Advertise

You need to make sure you have a good landing page, which should convert, before you launch your PPC campaign. Don’t just use your homepage as the url for your AdWords or AdSense ads.

If you’re using social media PPC, you need to have a strategy how to make money off of those ads before you start paying.

Unless you find the dashboard for your ads account super intuitive, it is worth looking into getting help from an expert or getting help from the provider as well. A PPC expert will help you save money and get a better ROI. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you should hire an expert before you even set up the account.


Is PPC Worth It?

Whether or not PPC is worth your money is a complicated question. A PPC expert will tell you that you should advertise, as will representatives of AdWords, Bing Ads, or any of the other PPC providers. But I won’t.

Deciding to spend your advertising money on PPC is a huge, expensive decision which could lead to much bigger profits or huge losses. Whether or not PPC makes sense for your business depends upon what your business is. If you are selling $15 t-shirts enshrining current internet memes, PPC may make sense. If you are offering a complicated, expensive service, it’s hard to imagine why PPC would make sense.

So what’s the short version? If your product or service is affordable, there is a low threshold for the customer to buy, it or it’s an impulse buy, PPC is a great option to improve your sales. However, if you need to convince your potential clients over time, PPC makes basically zero sense.

Still not sure what to do? I can help you decide whether or not to invest in PPC ads. I have years of experience with PPC ad campaigns (for search and for social media) and alternative marketing strategies that have replaced PPC ads or made them irrelevant. Contact me for more information.

July’s Tips for Sollpreneurs

I hope you’re enjoying the heat and I sure hope you have air conditioning.
This month we’ve got a piece on “interactive” content, and the value that content can bring to your marketing, provided you can invest in it, a guide on how to use “influencers” to grow your brand and your presence on social media and, finally, seven common mistakes business owners may make when marketing online.
This month, all content is from a site I read regularly called Marketing Profs. They have an annoying sign up form that pops up before you read – just click on the X, I’m sure you’ll find the content worthwhile. Also, if they want you to sign up to read the full article, it may be worthwhile. They produce a lot of interesting stuff, some of which is relevant to small business owners. (However, much of it is only relevant to business-to-business marketers and so you may not want to commit, or you may want to sign up for to try, and then unsubscribe later. I leave that up to you.)


“Interactive” content is content that asks or requires the user to participate (as simple as an embedded poll in your article). This article discusses why it’s valuable for your marketing campaign. Fair warning though, the best interactive content is going to be expensive.
Read the article.


We hear about “influencers” a lot. “Influencers” are merely people on social media who have a lot of followers, and a lot of influence with those followers. Influencers can be great for drawing attention to your brand, your products or your content, though the biggest ones will want substantial compensation for their influence. This article helps us understand how to use them for not just greater brand visibility, but fro creating social content (i.e. content for your brand that exists only within the social media space and not on your site). Note that the article requires you to sign up for a Marketing Profs account.
Read the article.


This one might be for the experts out there. When we do things daily, sometimes we fall into habits that can be unhelpful. This article highlights seven things we do that might be counterproductive for our online marketing. It’s a geared towards people who are already marketing their businesses online on a full-time basis.
Read the article.

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Solopreneur Tips for April

Marketing Tips for the Solopreneur

I don’t know if it’s my old age, but I am just appalled by this April’s weather. I am wearing a hoodie in doors and constantly feeling like the cold is actually in my bones.
Anyway, this month we have a couple of opinion pieces which I hope you’ll find helpful and a video. The video is a little more advanced but is the kind of thing you may want to bookmark for future reference.
I hope you find this month’s selection helpful. Thanks for reading.


This Marketing Profs article provides some useful tips for both beginners and experts about what not to do. It’s an opinion piece but the advice is helpful for beginners and a useful reminder for those of us who think we know these things but tend to forget more often than we’d like.
It’s behind a sign-up wall so it’s up to you whether or not you want to do that. I subscribe to their newsletter and, to be honest, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. Some of their content is great, lots of it is not. If this is something you think you would find useful, I would suggest giving it a try. You can always sign up to read this piece and then unsubscribe later.
Read the article.


This Marketing Profs article is not behind a sign-up wall so this one you can read without subscribing to. (Hooray!)
Everyone wants greater lead generation (i.e. more calls, more emails). This opinion piece is about the things that can undercut lead generation efforts. If you are working with a lead-generator or trying to do it yourself, this article is useful to review periodically to make sure you or your provider are doing it the right way,.
Read the article.


For our last piece this month we have another Whiteboard Friday video (surprise, surprise). This video is more for experts, but it could also be of interest to anyone looking to get an understanding of how the Google algorithm might work. I recommend it to improve your general knowledge, even if some of this stuff seems a little esoteric. It’s good to know about this stuff when writing content or figuring out what you are going to try next.
Watch the video.

Ask me a question any time at or on skype at riley.haas

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